Dedication to service for others. This core tenet has been a central principle of my life. I am fortunate to have been raised in a family of public servants — from members of the military, to first responders, to government service employees supporting the mission of the U.S. armed forces. From my grandfather, a Lieutenant Colonel who served our country during World War II; to my stepfather, an Army Captain; to my father, a lifelong volunteer firefighter, my family has taught me the meaning of service and sacrifice. My greatest ambition is to continue this legacy of honor as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Navy.
My mother, who became a marketing specialist for the Army Public Health Command, did so without the benefit of a college degree. She instilled in me a spirit of resilience and the wherewithal to overcome obstacles in my path.
My own career in public service began as a freshman at York College of Pennsylvania, where I won a seat as a sophomore Senator. There, I worked on improving life for my fellow students by strengthening the accountability of the budget and working to lessen the campus’ environmental footprint. As a result, the student body knew exactly where the budget was spent, and the campus reduced the amount of waste produced in its cafeterias. Shortly thereafter, I decided I wanted to be closer to Washington, D.C. so that I could continue my personal and professional development by gaining real world experience. I transferred to the University of Maryland at College Park.
Going from a small college to a large university presented challenges at first, but I was determined to find my way. I joined the club lacrosse team, which sharpened my skills to effectively work in a team setting and achieve shared goals. In addition, I sought and was selected for highly-competitive internships on Capitol Hill.
After graduation I worked a series of retail jobs to make ends meet, but I never lost sight of my goal to return to public service. Through hard work, I landed a spot on a congressional campaign as a Field Organizer. The candidate, Manan Trivedi, was a former Naval battalion surgeon. Learning his background and speaking with him during that campaign inspired me to seriously look at the Navy for future growth. As a field organizer it was my mission to build a network of volunteers to aide me in getting the message out about Mr. Trivedi. Under my guidance, our campaign became a national leader in volunteer recruitment and retention.
My skills in public communication brought me my next opportunity in Congress. I was hired as an aide to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, where my responsibilities included drafting her floor speeches and writing her official newsletter. I was also tasked with managing a rotating team of eager interns from around the country. I took great pride in making each intern feel welcomed to the office and helping them pursue their individual policy interests. Working in a congressional office requires flexibility, perhaps much like working on a naval vessel. To thrive, a staffer must learn the fundamentals of every role in the office because there will be a time when you must step in to assist a colleague.
After my tenure with Representative Jackson Lee, I advanced to position of scheduler for Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. Here I honed many skills that I believe would serve me well as a Public Affairs Officer. I set up meetings and conferences ranging from the constituent level to the presidential cabinet, provided the member with daily briefings, and helped her craft clear and concise messages for the public.
Though I have many ties to the United States Army, I have always been drawn to the professionalism, honor, and rich history of the United States Navy. The ethos of the Navy resonates with me in ways none of the other service branches do. I would be humbled and honored to carry on the legacy of the Navy while serving as a Public Affairs Officer. This would marry my passion for public service and fighting for the values we hold dear as Americans. If I am afforded this opportunity, I know the Navy and the country would get a committed, fierce, and loyal member of its armed forces. I understand the value of being an exceptional teammate, and I am ready to sacrifice and support the mission of ensuring freedom and global security. To me there is no greater calling than to serve our country in the United States Navy.